Politics

Published on December 8th, 2006 | by Hans Fruck

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An Absolute Fucking Disgrace

Whether you're Adolf Hitler, Renée Zellweger, or Satan himself, a fair trial should be non-negotiable.

Whether you’re Adolf Hitler, Renée Zellweger, or Satan himself, a fair trial should be non-negotiable.

There are a lot of things about the Howard Government that disgust me, but this takes the cake.

The government’s complaisance in the illegal and immoral detention of David Hicks without a trial is nothing short of a national disgrace. So much for the rule of law, and so much for the PM’s reflexive, nerdlike trumpeting of ‘mateship’. (By any definition, this term must include loyalty, empathy and standing up for one’s peers.)

Well, Howard and his government have abandoned David Hicks, a compatriot, to a foreign power that won’t allow him to contest the fairness of his detention. David Hicks has been stripped of an ancient legal entitlement called habeas corpus, an entitlement that stretches back to the 13th century and King John. All that habeas corpus means is that a prisoner gets to challenge the justice of his detention in front of a judge. In short, the right to a fair trial.

Principles are only principles if you adhere to them even when they’re not convenient. The Hicks situation, like so many others, demonstrates the only ‘principle’ John Howard holds dear: political expediency. Every day for five years, Howard has been prepared to sacrifice the rule of law and the fair treatment of one of his countrymen on the altar of political self-interest. If the reverse were true, only then would Howard be a fit leader for this country.

David Hicks was first detained in Afghanistan five years ago. He still hasn’t had a fair trial. And John Howard couldn’t give a fuck.


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